It is so heartening to read the exchanges between participants on this website. The kind of advice and support you offer one another is invaluable. Please know that even if your entry does not receive a comment in return it does not mean that your questions and concerns were not important or relevant. Somebody has read it and had the same question even though they may not feel able to respond. Many people read the website offerings but have not felt ready to acquire a password and to participate in writing.
We have formed a community nonetheless and it works. It is so rare to find a website about MS that is filled with supportive and realistic hope. Please keep writing and commenting if you possibly can. Now that the holiday crush is over, it may be easier to do so. If you are a reader only, that is fine. You are a very valuable member here.
It has been a real journey for both Ann and me to put our ideas and stories out into the public eye, first in the book, and now as bloggers. We, of all people, understand the reluctance that it takes to overcome a natural reserve and our need for privacy. But we have both grown into this role because we could not do otherwise. Our own journey with MS compelled us to take the plunge and do whatever it takes to get the word out about the MS Recovery Diet. You are our real ambassadors of hope- as you sit at your computer, walk to the store and shop, or chat up a fellow patient (or nurse) at the doctor’s office. It is a task we can all undertake as we work towards recovery in our health and in our lives: to spread the word, and to spread the hope. Thank you all for your participation in this work.
I welcome all newcomers to our site and remind those of you who have often checked in over the last few years that your comments, personal stories, suggestions and recipes are always welcome and useful for all of us no matter where in the world that we live. Please feel free to ask questions and voice your opinions. Ann and I are always learning from you, our readers, and it is to our mutual benefit that we offer this website.
This year opens up a whole new avenue of exploration for my own health issues. I have known for some time that some of my symptoms were not due to MS. According to my MS specialist, my lesions are all dormant in both my brain and my cervical spine. Yay! The diet initially offered me rapid and dramatic recovery in my digestion, cognition, energy levels, and the return of sensation from my toes to my face. I felt stronger than I had in years. The healthier I became, the more I noticed other symptoms that had been lurking beneath the general discomfort and malaise of a body that was both numb and weakened.
I began to experience random joint pains that migrated hour by hour, day by day. My walking became less stable and I began to feel cognitively clouded again. One day I finally realized ”this is not MS- it is Lyme disease!”. 7 years ago I was bitten by a deer tick and though I did a typical short round of antibiotics at the time, the bacteria went into hiding and has become a chronic condition as often is the case. I have begun working with a Lyme disease doctor who lauded all of my holistic efforts to combat the effects of Lyme and its co-infections but is now taking me in hand to deal with eliminating the source of my recent decline.
He informed me that the tail of the spirochete responsible for Lyme also offers the same kind of molecular mimicry as proteins in the MS trigger foods for the auto immune system to attack the myelin sheath! He told me that he sees many people with both MS and Lyme, here in upstate New York where the ticks are abundant from the spring through the fall .
The MS Recovery Diet is a permanent way of life for me and is the solid foundation upon which any of the new protocols for Lyme will be based. I enter into this year with gratitude and continued good wishes for the health and well being of all.
Ok, the holidays can be happy events and a heartful gathering time for families and friends. They can also be quite stressful. Too many engagements to show up for, too much food that is not on the diet, and the desire to either show a happy face or the need to repeatedly explain the unexplainable in answer to, “How are you feeling?”
Our best intentions to be calm, eat well, and rest can be overridden by the demands of the weeks ahead. You are your own best advocate. You are the only one who can really know what it is like if you veer off the diet and summon old symptoms to return. Only you can know how a non-restful night in a strange bed after traveling takes it toll on you. Carve out quiet time for yourself and set an example for others that share the tendency we all have to pack everything we can into the traditions, meals, and conversations that are part of the relatively short holidays. Try not to force yourself to keep up with the holiday pace.
If you are fortunate enough to have people come to you this year, you have more control over what takes place around you. Use it to set a sensible pace, limit the ‘too muchness’ and ask for help wherever you can. Others pitching in can actually create a bigger sense of community even if they do things ‘their way’ and not yours. Start new traditions that include the old in simpler formats and lessen the potential disappointment that can arise when big expectations are not matched by the realities of people and parties.
The earth is experiencing its movement away and towards the sun and many religious and cultural celebrations coincide with that dance of light. Take care of yourself so that your own light can shine. This year, let this be your gift to yourself. Be well and stay well.
Serves 2-3 people
I have been buying mostly wild caught cod that is locally available and is not a Deep Sea fish that I also avoid because of mercury. But any fish that is a little thick and will flake apart in biggish chunks will do for this recipe. The first step can be all assembled whenever you have the time and energy to prepare it. It can be reheated ½ hour before eating. Served with a salad this makes a complete meal. As always, if onions or carrots are not good for your body, substitute another vegetable on the sweet side- like beets, parsnips, sweet potato, or some winter squash would do.
Fairly thick fillet of fish about 8 inches long- enough for 2-3 people
1 medium yellow or white onion chopped fine
2 cups of carrots chopped fine
1 cup broccoli chopped fine
1-2 cups nut or rice milk to cover fish and vegetables in medium saucepan
8 oz. dried pasta: (no thin noodles but chunky shapes are best) made from buckwheat, rice, quinoa, millet or made from mixed gluten free grains- spirals, shells, or macaroni…
Cut the fish into chunks if necessary to lay it mostly flat on the bottom of the pan and make sure veggies tuck in all around them to create a level top layer. Pour in just enough milk to barely cover the food. Season with any mixture of salt, pepper, dill weed, mustard, or curry powder. Bring just to boil (don’t let milk boil over) and then simmer for 15-20 minutes allowing some liquid to evaporate. Carrots color this a pale orange.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions for the shortest time recommended but at the end- if rinsing is called for to remove the starch after draining- don’t wash it off or do it very slightly. This will leave some starch available to thicken the liquid from cooked fish and veggies. Lightly grease a casserole dish with olive oil and pour in pasta and then spoon the fish, veggies and half of the cooked milk from saucepan on top. Gently stir. Use enough milk to moisten the whole mixture but not enough to float the pasta. The pasta will absorb some more liquid as it bakes. If a little too much milk is used- no problem- it will taste just fine. If baking later, use all of the milk and refrigerate until ready.
Step 2 : Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Bake casserole for 20 minutes to ½ hour depending on how hot food is before baking, or until golden brown crust begins to form on top. Enjoy a good winter New England meal.
Tip: Use leftover cooking milk if any to heat up other leftover cooked veggies and lean protein for a one person soup.
I wrote a while back about my experiments with dehydrated vegetables. For me, they worked like a charm to fill me up as I traveled across the country for Thanksgiving with relatives. My airport food and airplane snacks were no problem for security as they were contained in small plastic bags and contained no liquids. I took a mix of vegetable chips (potato, carrot, zucchini, rutabaga, turnip, Jerusalem artichoke, and parsnip) and squash leather (like fruit leather). This nicely supplemented the box salads I could safely purchase to eat and I had plenty left over to add to the post Thanksgiving turkey soup. I felt full and content that I was able to fly with food that was not heavy, perishable, took up too much room, or likely to trigger any symptoms. I highly recommend it!
I hope you all had a safe and healthy holiday and can anticipate the next one coming up with as little stress and as much enjoyment as possible.